Bright-Minded Home – June 2015
by Melissa Coleman
Q+A with Mt. Abram owner Matt Hancock on ski area sustainability
In the past year, Maine’s Mt. Abram ski?area has emerged as a global leader in ski industry sustainability. With an 803-panel 244.915-kilowatt photovoltaic system added in December 2014, a wood pellet boiler to heat the lodge, an electric-car charging station, and energy-efficient HKD low-e, airless tower guns for snowmaking, Mt. Abram is taking charge of its future.
Q:WHY THE MANY GREEN VENTURES AT MT. ABRAM?
A: Tomorrow is promised to no one. We’ve been working to insulate ourselves from?the escalating costs of fossil-based energy, while at the same time doing our part to help effect colder, snowier winters.
Q:WHAT HAVE BEEN THE BENEFITS THUS FAR?
A: We expect our solar array to produce 280,000 kilowatt-hours a year, lowering our electricity costs from $50,400 in 2014 to around $9,800 in 2015. From January 1 to March 31, the system has produced just under 43,000 kilowatt-hours, and summertime’s larger production will go back into the grid to be used in the winter months. You can view daily results at www.solrenview.com/ SolrenView/mainFr.php?siteId=2904
Q:HAS THE ELECTRIC-CAR CHARGER BEEN POPULAR?
A: We often have two or three vehicles in the charging area on a weekend ski day. There are now 9,000 EV charging stations in the U.S., ours being just the second installation at a ski area in North America.
Q:HOW HAS THE WOOD PELLET BOILER PERFORMED?
A: We now spend roughly $6,000 per winter in pellet fuel to heat our 8,000-square- foot base lodge. The old 12,000-square-foot lodge was averaging upwards of $25,000 per winter for heating oil.